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UN Human Rights high commissioner calls plan to streamline gun ownership ‘escalation’

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Meirav Shahar accused the high commissioner’s statement of anti-Israel prejudice

U.N. Human Rights Council special session on “the deteriorating human-rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem,” May 2018. (Photo: Elma Okic/UN)

The United Nations’ High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk this Friday called for an end to the “Illogic of escalation that has been building up, to the detriment of the human rights of Palestinians and Israelis.” 

Türk specifically rebuffed plans by the Israeli government to streamline and expedite gun ownership, following two recent shootings in Jerusalem that left seven civilians dead and five injured. 

“Plans by the government of Israel to expedite and expand the licensing of firearms, with the stated intention of ‘adding thousands of (Israeli) civilians carrying firearms’ – coupled with hateful rhetoric – can only lead to further violence and bloodshed,” he said. 

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Meirav Shahar accused the high commissioner of anti-Israel prejudice in his statement. 

“The press release does not even have the decency to describe the attacks last week for what they were, acts of Palestinian terrorism targeting the Jewish people. It does not even have the courage to condemn the death of innocent worshipers,” said Shahar. “Its prejudice towards Israel means it chooses to turn a blind eye to the daily incitement of children by the Palestinian Authority and their support for terrorism.”

Türk’s press release did not mention the Israelis who were killed by Palestinian terrorists, however, it did mention Palestinians being killed by Israel during military operations. 

The press release also failed to distinguish between Palestinian militants, who were killed while engaging in armed confrontation, versus unarmed Israeli civilians being targeted, attacked and killed. 

The majority of Palestinians killed this year and last were armed militants or terrorists who engaged with Israeli security forces while conducting arrest operations. 

Israel has complained that the UN is not only biased against it, but also refrains from calling out Palestinian incitement to violence and terrorism.

After a 13-year-old Palestinian from east Jerusalem ambushed and shot two civilian men outside the City of David archaeological site last Saturday, investigators learned that the textbooks used by in his school were full of content glorifying violence against Israelis and calling students to become martyrs. 

These textbooks are used by United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) schools throughout the Palestinian territories. 

In December, the European Parliament adopted a resolution “strongly condemning” the Palestinian Authority’s anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in its school textbooks, threatening to cut funding to the PA.

IMPACT-se, a research, policy and advocacy organization that monitors and analyzes education, has studied Palestinian textbooks over the years and found that “violence or incitement to violence; hatred of the other; and radical, inappropriate or disturbing content” appeared in textbooks for grades 2-12.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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